WASHINGTON -- Several former Yankees may be called out of the bullpen as additional witnesses in the perjury trial of Roger Clemens.
Prosecutors wrote in a court filing that the cross-examination of trainer Brian McNamee "opened the door" for Chuck Knoblauch and Mike Stanton to testify to the truthfulness of what McNamee told federal investigators about their use of human growth hormone.
But if the prosecutors' request is granted, Clemens lawyer Rusty Hardin says he should be allowed to call a number of other "players and agents" to testify that McNamee lied about their involvement with performance-enhancing drugs.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who previously barred any testimony from other ballplayers about their own drug use to avoid a guilty-by-association verdict, said he wants to listen to the lawyers' arguments Monday morning before issuing a ruling.
In their motion, prosecutors argued that the jury should hear from Knoblauch and Stanton to counter the "distorted" view Hardin offered about McNamee's cooperation five years ago with federal agent Jeff Novitzky and former Sen. George Mitchell for his report on baseball's steroids problem.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney Saleski said in court Friday, with the jury out of earshot, that it's "relevant" for the jury to hear Knoblauch and Stanton confirm under oath the information that McNamee had given investigators of their use of human growth hormone.
"In the face of the attacks on McNamee's credibility, that evidence makes it less probable that McNamee was or is simply lying out of self-interest against [the] defendant and thus is relevant," prosecutors wrote in the motion, which was filed with the court before Hardin finished his cross-examination Friday.
"There's a side of me that wants to say, 'have at it,' " Hardin told the judge just before court recessed for the weekend. But he said he's also worried about the ramifications of the motion.
"What we'll have," Hardin said, "is a lot of mini trials" over McNamee's allegations about other players, and not Clemens. Smiling at the judge, Hardin noted that the trial, about to enter its sixth week, would then last into "September or October."
Walton agreed with Hardin that if he granted the prosecutors' motion, he would also likely allow defense the freedom to call players who Hardin says will testify that McNamee lied about their involvement with steroids and human growth hormone.
Hardin didn't identify those players. Mitchell's report only listed McNamee as a source of information for Clemens, Knoblauch and Andy Pettitte. But Hardin has the notes Mitchell's law firm, DLA Piper, kept during their three meetings with McNamee before issuing the report.
A former seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens faces perjury charges for allegedly lying to Congress four years ago. That's when he denied McNamee's allegations from the Mitchell Report that he had injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs in 1998, 2000 and 2001.
McNamee, of Long Beach, returns to the witness stand for his sixth day of testimony when the trial resumes Monday.